The High School Placement Test (HSPT) is an educational admissions test developed and maintained by Scholastic Testing Service. Independent and Parochial high schools use the HSPT to select students for admission into grade nine. Five component tests that make up the student’s composite score – Verbal, Quantitative, Reading, Mathematics, and Language. Three optional tests may be used to further identify a prospective student’s strengths and abilities – Science, Religion, and Mechanical Aptitude. Admissions Officers use the HSPT is used as an indicator of academic capability.
This article discusses the Reading component of the HSPT exam.
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Your potential high school arranges HSPT registration. The test fee is usually included in the application fee, but if it is not, your admissions counselor will discuss the cost of the test with you as well as additional application costs that you may incur. If you are applying to more than one high school, discuss the possibility of removing the testing fee from your application fee, if it is included in the cost.
Your admissions counselor has the date, location, and time for your test. Once you have submitted your application packet and paid the school’s fee, the counselor will schedule your exam. Often HSPT testing is held in January for fall admittance.
If you have any questions, ask your counselor.
HSPT Reading test section design
The HSPT Reading test consists of 62 multiple-choice questions. The delivery method for the HSPT is paper-based. You are provided a test booklet with the questions and an answer sheet. You are allowed 25 minutes to complete the Reading section.
The Reading section contains passages that test your understanding of ideas, themes, tone, and the author’s intent. The passages also serve as a demonstration of your knowledge of vocabulary, your ability to draw information from written text, and your ability to comprehend supporting details within a text. Passages are drawn from historical, literary, scientific, and social texts.
Two parts comprise the Reading section of the HSPT:
- Comprehension – 40 questions
- Vocabulary – 22 questions
Once you have completed the questions in the Reading component, you have a short break.
Bring two Number 2 pencils with you to the exam. Notes, calculators, or other items that can record information are not allowed in the testing center. Scratch paper is not provided. Instead, you use the test booklet to make calculations, take notes, or annotate questions that you want to review. Be careful to use the answer sheet only for your responses. Stray markings on the test sheet could cause errors when scoring your exam.
Work quickly – you only have 25 minutes to answer 62 questions. In your test booklet, annotate questions for review and go back to them if you have time. You are not penalized for incorrect answers, so make the best guess you can on questions that cause you concern.
Your overall score is based on the number of correct responses, with no penalty for wrong answers. The points you receive on the Reading section are combined with your points from the other sections and converted to a scaled score. The scaled score ranges from 200 to 800. 600 is generally accepted as an “above average” score. Your admissions counselor has the information on the minimum acceptable score.
Your score report is provided to each school you indicated on your registration form. Admission requirements and minimum passing scores vary from school to school, so make sure you know the requirements for the school you want to attend. Your school’s admission staff uses the HSPT as a predictor of success in their educational program. Therefore, most schools allow you to take the HSPT only once.
Get a step ahead
The HSPT is a diagnostic admissions test used to predict your success in a rigorous high school program. Your test score is just one facet of your application packet, but it is an important one. The better your score, the better your chances at admission to your chosen school. High school entrance tests are used by administrators to narrow the applicant pool, and the minimum score will vary year from year. Don’t be caught lagging. You need the most current study system that will give you an advantage. You need Mometrix Test Preparation’s suite of study tools.
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